Archive for the Bichon Frise category

So You Want a Bichon Frise

If you suffer from allergies, but want to have a dog, you may want to take a look at the Bichon Frise. This charming little dog’s sole function is to provide companionship and it does its job extremely well.

The Bichon Frise is classified as a part of the Non-Sporting Group by the American Kennel Club. The Bichon is a seven to thirteen pound dog that stands only nine to eleven inches tall. These fluffy little dogs are known for their thick white coats and alert, cheerful eyes. The Bichon’s tail is carried proudly over its back.

Bichons are a perfect choice for a family dog, as long as the children are old enough to know how to handle a dog without hurting it. Although your Bichon may tolerate rough treatment, he can easily be injured. These dogs get along well with older children, as well as dogs and other pets.

Since the Bichon Frise loves to spend time with people, this breed is quite content with life in apartments or town homes. Of course, your dog won’t object to a home with a fenced yard. If you don’t have a fenced yard, you should be prepared to take your dog for a daily stroll around the block so he stays healthy and strong.

Although Bichon Frises are small dogs and do not have stubborn tendencies, it is still a good idea to teach your puppy some basic obedience commands. If your Bichon ever runs out the front door and heads for the street, you will want to be sure that you can call him back to your side. Of course, you can teach him a few simple commands yourself, but puppy obedience classes can make training easier. In addition, these classes are a good way for you to teach your puppy socialization skills. Of course, once you begin obedience classes, your little guy’s aptitude for obedience may just convince you to keep on learning. These dogs have a reputation for being incredibly intelligent. In fact, Bichons often perform as highly trained circus dogs.

Bichon Frises are not expensive to feed. Since small dogs often have dental problems, you may want to make sure that you use a dry food diet. If you decide to feed your puppy soft food, be sure you brush his teeth frequently.

The one drawback of the Bichon Frise breed is that these dogs need extensive grooming. You will need to brush out your Bichon’s fluffy coat frequently or he will look like a ratty mop head instead of a beautiful, elegant little dog. You will also need to have his coat cut and shaped at least once a month. If you can’t groom your dog yourself, this can become a major expense.

The good news is that Bichon Frises are a very healthy breed. This breed actually has no common health problems.

If you want a sweet and affectionate pet who doesn’t cause you to break out in hives, then a Bichon Frise may just be the perfect dog breed for you and your family.

The Bichon Frise: The French Lap Dog

The Bichon Frise: The French Lap Dog

By Michael Russell

The Bichon Frise is a small breed of dog, similar in size to a large cat, which in French means “curly lap dog”. They are called this because in the past they were lap dogs for French royalty. Often devoted to their masters, Bichons are popular pets and are fairly similar to poodles.

Originating in the Mediterranean region and in existence since the Middle Ages, Bichons eventually ended up on the streets after the French Revolution in which their royal masters were dethroned. The dogs were then caught and trained to do tricks so that they would become dogs in the circus. Despite often being used as a dog for companionship, Bichons are also versatile and smart. Recently farmers in Norway have even used Bichons for rounding up sheep.

Bichons weigh between 7 and 18 lbs and stand between 9 to 12 inches tall. Their average lifespan is 12 to 14 years. Bichons are nearly completely white, as to be a pure bred Bichon one must be at least 90% white. The dogs sometimes have different shades of white around the ears, but white is the dominant color of Bichons. Their eyes are usually either black or dark brown. The area around the eye is also very dark. The nose and lips are also black, while the ears are droopy and covered with long hair. The coat of a Bichon is curly, making them look puffy. The underbelly of a Bichon is softer and denser than the outer coat. A Bichon’s coat is thick and springs back in place if touched.

Bichons, who tend to not like the heat, must be groomed often to keep their neat appearance. The face is of special notice, as mucus and eye discharge can cause major problems as it tends to get in the fur right near their eyes. Their curled tails go over their backs and are often groomed to be longer in length than the rest of the coat.

Bichons tend to look attentive and soft. They are quite intelligent and present a curious personality. Though Bichons most like to stay close to their owners and lounge around, they are energetic and like to chew on bones, climb furniture and go for long walks. Bichons are easily excited when seeing other people, but they are really friendly dogs. Bichons are great pets for families, as children and Bichons tend to be fond of each other. Though Bichons can become jealous when it comes to attention, they get along alright with other dogs. Male Bichons are usually easier to train than females.

All-white breeds tend to suffer from ear infections and skin problems, but the Bichon Frise is less prone than other all-white breeds. The dogs can suffer problems with cataracts and luxating patellas though.

Though some people can still be allergic to Bichons, it is less likely that most other breeds of dog. Since they do not shed their fur, Bichons are quite popular to people with allergies as they are of a hypoallergenic breed.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

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The Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise

By Michael Russell

The words Bichon Frise actually mean “fluffy little dog”. This was the name given to the breed in 1933 by the European Kennel club (Federation Cynologique Internationale) when there was a huge discussion as to what to name the breed, which had applied for registration in the stud book. There had existed since before the time of Christ several varieties of the small white fluffy dog, throughout Europe and South America. The little dog had been called by many names, including the Dog of Havana, the Dog of Holland, the Dog of Bologna and others. Actually it is most likely that these original names represented variations of this breed and later these variations did receive their own designations of the Bolognese and Havanese. At any rate, the “fluffy little dog” that was always white became known as the Bichon Frise, usually just designated the “Bichon” .

The coat of the Bichon as it is presented in the show ring is usually quite rounded and trimmed and fluffed so that in the end one can hardly distinguish the actual bones or muscling of the body. If groomed as for the show, the little dog has a large squared off appearance to the head and the entire body is covered with fine soft coat about 3 inches in length, curly and “fluffy” all over. The coat is always white. However when one has a pet Bichon this is not an easy task to keep this appearance. One drawback as far as this type of grooming is that folks who want to have it look that perfect must devote a portion of their time nearly every other day to brushing the dog “to the skin” to keep the coat fluffy and mat free and giving baths as necessary to keep the coat clean. Many “pet” owners elect to keep the coat short and trimmed for ease.

The Bichon Frise is very healthy. There are no genetic conditions known and except for keeping up to date with the inoculations there should be few vet visits. The Bichon learns tricks easily and loves to perfume them. It is a friendly and affectionate dog and loves to be a lap dog but also loves to play and is no stranger to begging for attention. The Bichon usually has a consistent temperament of gentleness, a clownish playful attitude and is affectionate to everyone it meets. It is easy to see why this dog has become a favorite as a pet. It is small enough for elderly folks to hold in their lap, it is friendly and usually non aggressive in nature, so it is a safe dog for a family with children. The size is appropriate for apartment living and the intelligence of the breed is undeniable, the dog has been used historically as a circus dog to perform tricks and entertain the public. However, when allowed to, the Bichon can become spoiled and it would be well for the owner to remember that all dogs, regardless of their size, do need training and an occasional reminder of who is boss. Unfortunately as a breed becomes more popular, it is also true that it can be “overbred” by unscrupulous breeders who are only out to put money in their pocket. When this happens it can be possible that poor temperament can be bred into a bloodline and sometimes this has happened with the Bichon, as it is becoming apparent that more and more of these little dogs are becoming “tyrants” of the household. Responsible owners will buy from responsible breeders and will take their little puppy to an obedience class. If attention is paid at the beginning, the little puppy will grow into a great little dog rather than a spoiled rotten little brat.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dogs

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Bichon Frise Complete Profile

Bichon Frise Complete Profile

Bichon Frise

Key Facts

Size: Small
Height: Less than 30 cm (12 inches)
Weight: 3 – 4 kg (6.5 – 9 lb)
Life Span: 15 years
Grooming: Demanding
Exercise: Medium
Feeding: Medium
Temperament: Friendly & extroverted
Country of Origin: Belgium/France
AKC Group: Non-Sporting
Other Names: Tenerife Dog

The Bichon Frise is outgoing, lively, happy and intelligent. Bichon Frises make excellent household pets, with their abiltity to get on with children, other dogs and strangers. The Bichon Frise responds well under correct training and tends to bond closely with its handler. Bichon Frises are naturally sociable dogs and enjoy being taken everywhere with the family.

Demanding. The coat of a Bichon Frise needs to be thoroughly combed everyday and requires occasional clipping to prevent it becoming too long. The coat also needs to be washed regularly to keep it white. Ensure that there are no hairs around the eyes that are causing irritation and trim the excess hair between the pads on the feet. The excess hair in the ears needs to be plucked and any dirt removed. Bichon Frise do not moult and the dead hairs need to be removed with a brush.

Bichon Frise adapt themselves to the family activities to fulfill their exercise needs.

The Bichon Frise have a long history as they originated from the Mediterranean Barbet – a dog with a thick curly coat who was once used for water retrieving. Originally known as the ‘Barbichon’, the French shortened the name to Bichon and added ‘Frise’ which means curly or frizzy. The colour of the Bichon Frise became established after cross-breeding with the Maltese Terrier. The Poodle is the best known breed to have evolved from the early Bichon Frise.

Physical Characteristics:

General Appearance: Dazzling white, proud, and alert.
Colour: Pure white. Dark skin is preferable.
Coat: Fine, silky with soft corkscrew curls 7-10cm (3-4in) long.
Tail: Usually raised and curved, it is never curled.
Ears: Narrow, delicate, hanging close to the head and well covered with long, finely curled hair.
Body: Slightly rounded, well muscled, fore and hindquarters are well angulated and a fairly long neck.

Additional Comments:

Tear staining around the eyes is common with the Bichon Frise and there are lotions that can help to reduce or remove these marks.
Potential owners of the Bichon Frise need to be committed to ongoing grooming demands.


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